By on June 9, 2020

Since the dawn of the new century, the automotive industry has been forced to revise electrification timelines for a cavalcade of reasons. Development programs have proven costly, the economy has taken a turn (or turns) for the worse, customers haven’t responded in great numbers, and the materials necessary for battery have been in short supply for many. Throw in the trouble some companies have had with programming such cars or ending up with electric vehicles that want for truly enviable range and you’re beginning to see the whole, problematic enchilada.

It wasn’t all that long ago that General Motors promised over 20 new all-electric models by 2023. Granted, this promise was made in 2017 — during a time when the industry couldn’t possibly have foreseen the global hardships that would befall us or known we’d have the ability to remember what was said just a few years prior. The messaging has changed, either because mainstream automakers cannot provide the kind of cars that will continue to spur EV adoption, or because they no longer hold much interest in trying. 

In a way, we feel kind of sorry for the industry. Environmental regulations forced the electrification issue to a point where most players had to at least indicate they had a serious interest in the technology. But only Tesla seems to have made any legitimate headway with customers, creating a strong base thanks to top-tier branding and simply being the first team to deliver an enviable electric car.

“We believe the transition will happen over time,” General Motors CEO Mary Barra told David Rubenstein in an interview on Bloomberg TelevisionWhile she still has faith in an all-electric future and noted that GM has a new battery platform coming out soon, Barra said the company needs to “provide options for the entire market place.”

She then went on to say how excited she was about the transition to electric vehicles, which no longer appears to be taking place within her lifetime. When asked if GM will swap to producing EVs exclusively in 10 to 20 years, Barra suggested it would likely take longer than that.

“I think it’ll happen over a period of years and decades. When you look at the transition that needs to occur, there’s about 250 million U.S. cars in the car park. And so, transitioning all of them is going to take some time.  You think about different use cases, also affordability. That’s why we’re working to hard to ensure we’re in a leadership position with battery technology — so EVs are affordable for everyone.”

Surely, that’s also why GM is building the Hummer EV — a vehicle that spits in the face of efficiency and affordability while still being entirely electric. Barra mentioned the upcoming model briefly in the interview, glossing over its status as an all-electric plaything for people who want to drive a miniature monster truck while still feeling like they’re saving the environment. She also didn’t harp on its delayed arrival. That doesn’t mean it won’t be great when it does debut; it just doesn’t seem to represent the corporate ideals GM would like to convey to the public.

From Bloomberg:

In addition to funding its EV program, GM also is spending about $1 billion a year to fund Cruise LLC, the self-driving car unit the Detroit-based carmaker majority owns. A return on that investment will bear fruit before long, Barra said. Although Cruise canceled plans to launch a ride-hailing service last year and has not set a new date, it is developing a self-driving vehicle that will be dedicated to a robotaxi service.

“I definitely think it will happen within next five years,” she said of of fully driverless cars being deployed. “Our Cruise team is continuing to develop technology so it’s safer than human driver. I think you’ll see it clearly within five years.”

Cruise’s first autonomous vehicle was supposed to be ready for GM’s uses by 2019, sans steering wheel and pedals. Unfortunately, development woes that were hardly exclusive to America’s largest automaker made that impossible. Bloomberg also failed to mention the manufacturer cut autonomous development staffers by roughly 8 percent this year.

We have even less faith in AVs than we do EVs, the latter of which seem to be hung up by logistical issues and rapidly advancing technology. Vehicular autonomy appears to have stagnated entirely, with many automakers allocating less resources to programs after hitting R&D roadblocks. Legal gray areas surrounding liability also plague the concept. However, the industry is still keen to rework cars so you can spend less time driving and more time interfacing with in-car displays that are perpetually connected to the internet — an idea we’re not overly fond of.

Shifting back to EVs, there’s little chance the General will hit its old target and saturate the market with EVs by 2023. It definitely has several moving up the spreadsheet toward production, with large electric models presumably coming to GMC and Cadillac in 2021. But that leaves the company releasing over a dozen other battery driven vehicles (or plug-in hybrids) on a tight timeline.

We don’t foresee any automaker that isn’t Tesla cornering the green market for the next few years. Most manufacturers have already overshot the metaphorical landing zone and seem to be going around for another attempt. Others have come dangerously close to crashing on the runway. GM’s in a tough spot, though we figure its base doesn’t care one whit what it’s doing in terms of green vehicles. They’ll happily continue buying affordable family transportation from the company, mainly in the guise of pickups and crossover vehicles.

[Images: General Motors]

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61 Comments on “General Motors: Electrification Will Take ‘Years and Decades’...”


  • avatar
    slavuta

    GM sore losers. They had the future in their hands. Imagine where they could be now it they continued

  • avatar
    dwford

    All of these companies put on splashy press conferences about their “EV roadmaps” and it all turned out to be bunk. Sounded great to the automotive press and Wall St, but that’s about it. Despite a few surveys of broke millennials professing love for EVs, there isn’t a huge groundswell of buyers pounding the sales desk for an EV. Hybrids make more sense right now. They get much better mileage, but don’t require you to rewire your house, or sit in a parking lot for hours to refuel.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “They get much better mileage, but don’t require you to rewire your house, or sit in a parking lot for hours to refuel.”

      You don’t necessarily have to rewire your house. A 20a 120v outdoor outlet that many houses have will work. My old house, built in 1983, had a dryer outlet in the garage that could be used for a level 2 charge. You also don’t have to sit in a parking lot for hours. Ever heard of level 3 charging. On long trips, I’ve been able to get away with a quick 15 minute charge. But, maybe part of the problem is uninformed sales staff that is providing misinformation to the public.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “old house”
        “built in 1983”

        Lol.

        It’ll only be a 1-time expense but I’m guessing adding a level 2 charger to my much older than 1983 home will run me over $2,000.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “1983” yeah, I should have said “previous” house. Especially living near plenty of houses build in the 1700’s.

          My big electrical expense and upgrade was because of a new kitchen and multiple ovens with “pizza mode”. With the car charger, there was already space on the panel.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          I installed a Level 2 charger in my 1967 house for $800, in 2012. Chargers are half that price now. The wiring is the same as for an electric range. I installed a double 40A breaker and 8 AWG wire.

          I have 150A service, 2000 sq ft home, electric range, central A/C, gas dryer and hot water, the usual accessories, no upgrade needed.

          If I switch to electric hot water, I’ll probably need to upgrade my service. Otherwise, it’s been a drama-free experience.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            What do exhaust systems and “dealer prices” for scheduled maintenance on ICE vehicles these days? It probably adds up to the cost of adding new service or a level 2 charger.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I installed a double 40A breaker and 8 AWG wire.”

            So you installed it? How much would that have been if you paid someone to do it?
            __

            “What do exhaust systems and ‘dealer prices’ for scheduled maintenance on ICE vehicles these days?”

            I don’t live in a place where it gets cold and I don’t have an ’80 Fairmont so exhaust repairs aren’t really in my future.

            As far as other maintenance goes, oil changes are free at the dealer (although there is a time commitment). Other dealer performed maintenance would probably be around $2000 if I kept the car over 150k miles.

            I’m not dead set against paying for a charger install but it’s not something I’ll do for ownership of just one vehicle either.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I can honestly think of 3 purchases for exhaust components in my entire lifetime. A Catalytic Converter for both my old Saturn and my 90 Miata. Both over 150k miles and the Miata being over 20 years old and the Saturn around 8. The third purchase was for some Flowmasters for an old 68 Cougar that had the still function exhaust system from 1968 on it, all be it a single exhaust. The Miata spent a good amount of time being dailied in upstate NY. Most of my experience is Southern, but I think you are drastically overestimating the cost and frequency of such repairs.

            Honestly I have 3 (well 4 for another month) ice cars in my fleet and an EV. The oldest of the ICE fleet is my 2015 F150. 62k miles, 2 recalls which is incidentally the same number the Leaf has had during ownership and now 44k miles. The Hyundai has had 2 recalls and some trips to the shop but those are all related to non ICE components and shoddy assembly. 50k on it. The Fiesta ST, no unscheduled service in 2 years and 15k miles though were I keeping it it would need tires, but that is as a result of the driver treating it like the 2 year rental it was…again something for the “Look at me…I am a smart CPO buyer” to keep in mind.

            I would also add, when the Leaf was damaged I replaced the radiator…a part that many EV owners seem to think doesn’t exist on their car. That fluid needs changed. And while the brake pads last nicely, I still needed to change the fluid (a point of debate in Nissan forums, so I treat it like all of my other cars.

            Not to imply that it requires the maintenance of an ICE car…but modern cars aren’t your grandpappy’s Electra 225 either…Oil changes are no longer a 3k mile affair either. And there are many components on EV’s that are way more expensive than their ICE counterparts. Go price an AC compressor for a 2013 Leaf and compare that to a Versa or Sentra.

            If you like them, sure, buy one. The Leaf charges on 120v, but it gets away with it due to the tiny by todays standards battery pack. But most others would need level 2 to fill up overnight.

            Anyway, they are cheaper to maintain, but not that much and stuff like wiring and charger installs and higher up front costs sort of level that out.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @art: A 300+ mile car will take as long as a Leaf to replenish if it’s power consumption per mile is the same as the Leaf’s. If I run an errand in either a bolt, a model 3, or a leaf, they all have about the same consumption (I think) so replenishment at 120v would take the same time. The Model 3 on level 2 could take advantage of my 50a level 2 charger and charge faster than the leaf or the bolt. We’re talking replenishment, not running the battery to empty.

            For 120v charging, I have an adjustable-rate charger so I can drop it low if needed to a couple of amps all the way to maybe 18a for a 20a circuit. At 18a, the charging time isn’t horrible. There were times at the office where I didn’t have access to the NEMA 14-50 outlets, so I’d just plug into the 120v 20a outlets. They worked fine. Now, we have boatloads of Level 2 chargers. Two of my other office locations in Boston have parking garages that have 20a outlets that I use as well.

            I was basing the maintenance costs on the posted prices I’ve seen at dealerships for the periodic maintenances on ICE cars. I tried to emphasize that in the comment. I know independents are cheaper, but my comment was in reference to the dealership prices. Here’s a price list I randomly found at a VW dealer somewhere:

            https://www.neilhuffmanvolkswagen.com/service-pricing.html

            For me, the charger installation was only maybe a 4 foot run from the box to the new NEMA 14-50 outlet that the L2 charger plugs into. The upgrades to my electrical system were actually triggered by a new kitchen and new HVAC. It would have happened even without the car.

            A really enterprising dealership would have some sort of deal with a local electrical contractor and fold the upgrade into the loan. I think that’s what Tesla does. Another way for the dealer to make money.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            But you are sort of comparing a best case scenario with respect to your charger install to a worst case with respect to getting anything done at a VW dealer. To flip that around a few years back I lived in army housing on Fort Knox so no amount of money could get a charger installed. I did however pull my Land Cruiser’s motor in that garage. Additionally I think the only non warranty dealer work I’ve had done in the last 15-20 years was a timing belt on an 07 Hyundai my wife had that I didn’t feel like doing because I was heading to Afghanistan that month.

            Most people’s use cases are likely much closer in expense. It isn’t likely a nightmare in 90 percent of cases to get a charger installed. Similarly EV owners failing to maintain their cars does not make them maintenance free.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’ve got exhaust systems that are nearing 20 years old that are still functioning perfectly with no signs that will change anytime soon.

            Oil changes on many modern vehicles are only needed every 10k and that So under $100 yr more than an EV.

            It isn’t like you don’t need to rotate the tires, check the level of all the other fluids, inspect lights, brakes, suspension and change the cabin air filter.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Ajla, there are federal tax incentives for installing EV charging stations and support. Might be local incentives too.

          EV charging stations purchased in 2018 through the end of 2020 are now eligible for a 30% tax credit for purchase and installation costs, up to $1,000 dollars for residential installations and up to $30,000 for commercial installations.

        • 0 avatar
          Erikstrawn

          The biggest cost would be if the service to your house is already maxed out. I have 200a service and I have a 200a circuit panel with a couple open spots left. I had an 80a 220v breaker added for the welding plug in my garage about ten years ago. It cost me about $250. If I’d had to have the meter and panel replaced it would likely have been $2000.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        You guys kill me. “I did a huge chef’s kitchen expansion, so I had already spent a fortune on upgrading everything, so a car charger was no big deal!” “My electrical panel required no upgrades, so the car charger was easy to install!”

        Ok, goodie for you guys. For millions of people hiring an electrician to install a car charger is a large expense and an extra hassle, especially when most consumers won’t sit through the demo of how to pair their phone to the bluetooth.

        • 0 avatar
          indi500fan

          My 04 Caddy and my 99 GMC Sonoma have the original exhaust and most all of the running the last 10 yrs is short trips. So I’m thinking exhaust systems are pretty long lived these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Certainly exhaust systems last far longer than back in the day when you had to visit a Midas Muffler or Speedy Muffler King every few years after the original system rusted out. Midas dropped ‘muffler’ from their name years ago, and I have not seen a once ubiquitous Speedy in a couple of years.

            I did however have to replace the catalytic converter on an 2005 Buick when it was just 8 years old and had just over 85,000 kms. However that might be because it had been rarely drive for few years.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          You’ll spend $60 and a have to watch a YouTube video.

          Otherwise the problem is finding an electrician to take a job that small (under $200). You’ll spend more on the drywall guys.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      The “ICE” legacy automotive companies should have gone the Tesla route with EV’s. Instead of starting at the econobox end of the spectrum where buyers are notoriously frugal, they should have offered more luxurious models first.

      I don’t buy the whole cost of rewiring your house debate. If your house is that old and cannot handle any modern electrical additions, it should be rewired just from a safety standpoint.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Nonsense. Many older houses have perfectly safe wiring but don’t have a big enough service to support something like that. If you have aluminum wiring or some 1920’s bare terminals, sure but so long as it is undamaged and provides enough outlets and supply, there is no reason to incur such an expense.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Art Vandelay – the wire might be able to accept the load but the insulator might not be up to snuff for dealing with the heat or may have broken down over decades. Circuit breakers and breaker boxes might not be safe either. There is a reason why building codes have changed over the past 100 years.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s what GM does with Cadillac.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Good summary.

    Cruise LLC is a dead LLC walking.

    The fantastic predictions by these companies always seem to precede actual due diligence and design. Then they discover how hard it is to source the vast quantities of materials they need, and how much volume they need to sell to squeak out a profit.

    If you’re not selling 100k+ EVs annually, you’re losing money on them. Tesla has the lowest battery costs in the industry, and barely made a profit in 2019 after selling 190k cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Thanks. Always good to see you contributing in the comments (especially on the EV-related posts).

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And it only made a profit on those cars because they generated credits that they sold to other automakers.

      For example they turned a profit of $16 mil Q1 2020 while selling $354 mil of credits.

      So as other automakers bring their own EVs to market the market for those credits will shrink at the same time that number of credits for sale increases.

      A measly 5% drop in the revenue from credits would have put Tesla in the red last quarter.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This isn’t news. Anyone with an IQ above the single digits can see the severe shortcomings of electric cars. They are not profitable (unless you sell carbon credits), they are amazingly harmful to manufacture (batteries), refueling takes forever, there are very few places to charge them, and they are far too expensive (just to name a few).

    They remain a fashion accessory and not a legitimate form of transportation

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I drive a Hyundai EV ‘fashion accessory’, and a Nissan EV ‘fashion accessory’ before that.

      I didn’t know all those miles I’ve driven were illegitimate, but I do always leave my little purse dog at home so they don’t mess up the expensive interior.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @SCE: You know, maybe if they start marketing them as illegitimate forms of transportation they’ll sell more. All of those “illegal” high-speed e-bikes are pretty much getting sold out pretty quick.

        I don’t how I’ve managed almost 100k illegitimate miles in the leaf. I may have accidentally discovered teleportation maybe. Although, I have to admit it will be nice upgrading to something with 200 to 300 miles range. This week, I’m again hedging on what I’m getting for a commuter EV. Low mileage Bolts are popping up for $18k. I’d rather have a Model 3 for the commute, but those lower prices are tempting. I’d also not mind waiting another year for the 3. I go back and forth every week.

    • 0 avatar

      “Anyone with an IQ above the single digits can see the severe shortcomings of electric cars”

      My IQ is slightly higher – in 3 digits, but I still do not see it. I see only advantages.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      How is it not legitimate? It gets you where you want to go and even my kids 3 colors under the rolled on monstaliner Leaf beats any mass transit I’ve ever used. A horse was a legit way to cross the country some time ago.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      If your commuting is short and you seldom have to go for long drives a PHEV/EV is the sweet spot for you. I can fill at work and fill our CT6E for 5-cents kwh. Factor in incentives for purchase as you are going to be buying a new vehicle in the future and you might as well work 8t to your advantage.

  • avatar
    ttiguy

    Its interesting that this post pretends as if GM’s electric plan has changed since 2017. I seem to remember an “electric day” or something like that back in Feb/March right before things went to hell where GM presented a bunch of full EV’s that were production intent and would be in production within 3 years. I know I read about it on other, more reputable sites, with notes from actual journalists that were invited to the event and saw the vehicles. Perhaps if the author had a bit more journalistic integrity he would have been invited to attend also?

    These reveals do follow the plan just as was outlined in 2017. No where was it inferred in 2017 that EV’s would be the only option.

    TL;DR, Mr. posky has no clue what he’s writing about here

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Considering the low bar for journalism in 2020, you could have come up with a better insult than my not fitting the mold of being uncritical of giant companies I spend all day analyzing. Maybe that’s why our invitation to EV Day was lost in the mail. Or maybe we went. There’s no way you could know unless you worked for the company or for a rival website. Also all this year’s EV Day showed us was that GM plans on building 20 model shells atop one ubiquitous skateboard platform — which is the only possible way it could fill that quota.

      Anyway, nobody here believed any mainstream automaker was going all electric. This is about misleading corporate messaging and the industry walking things back while they still can. What do you think a “zero emissions future” conveys to the public?

      From General Motors (2017-10-02):

      General Motors announced today how it is executing on a major element of its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, recently announced by GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra.

      “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president of Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”

      In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV. They will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023.

      Given customers’ various needs, getting to a zero emissions future will require more than just battery electric technology. It will require a two-pronged approach to electrification — battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric depending on the unique requirements.

      • 0 avatar
        ttiguy

        Thats a whole lot of words with zero content. So good job there.

        “This is about misleading corporate messaging and the industry walking things back while they still can”
        Again, where is there any hint of walking ANYTHING back???

        “What do you think a “zero emissions future” conveys to the public?”
        How about full EV? Sounds pretty zero emissions to me. Its pretty clear, Legacy automakers are going to continue to build trucks. Thats how they fund the development of EVs. Oh yeah, that’s just details to be ignored in your argument here.

        Heck, right in the press release from 10/2017 THAT YOU ARE QUOTING, GM states the transformation won’t be some grand event. But instead a gradual transition.

        “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles through no-compromise solutions that meet our customers’ needs.”

        WTF man? Get it together. You’re right that with the current state of the world, at least a stupid car blog would get the facts straight and not try and twist the truth to further their agenda.

        TTAC agenda: GM = Evil Empire = BAD

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          TTAC’s agenda is to call it as we see it. We crap on every single automaker fairly regularly. But someone always comes in and tell us that we hate one automaker while overtly embracing another. We used to “hate Ford” and “love Honda.” Then Honda messed up its infotainment systems and we made fun of Acura’s appearance packages and the script flipped. I’ve been accused of hating and championing Tesla in the same day before. Weirdly, it’s always part of some “agenda” even though it puts us on bad terms with the companies and often makes our jobs harder. Turns out most of them only want you to say good things about the company and their products.

          Today you just happened to be the voice echoing the tired trope that we’re biased, just with a different automaker. And seemingly your favorite, based on most comments I’ve seen you post here.

          • 0 avatar
            ttiguy

            try and stay on topic…… I’ll repeat my original question so it’s a little more clear for you

            “This is about misleading corporate messaging and the industry walking things back while they still can”

            QUESTION>>>>>>>>>>>>Again, where is there any hint of walking ANYTHING back???

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    There will only be significant electric drive market share in the US if one or more of these happens:

    The battery technology develops far beyond today’s level. In terms of cost, range and recharge time.

    Government penalizes petroleum fueled vehicles significantly (fuel taxes, vehicle taxes, carbon rationing, etc).

    Government subsidizes electric drive vehicles massively.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “The battery technology develops far beyond today’s level. In terms of cost, range and recharge time.”

      It’s moving fast in that direction. Both CATL and Tesla seem to have solved the longevity issues. Gravimetric and volumetric battery density improvement is moving along well. That impacts cost, range, and recharge time. There’s been so much battery snake oil out there it’s hard to separate the breakthroughs that can make it into production vs. tech that works, but isn’t mass producable. For example, Toyota’s solid state battery. It’s great, but they’re now off figuring out how to mass produce it. That could take years.

      You’ve missed my favorite factor that could drive electrics. If ICE technology becomes something that is associated with being old, poor, or an apartment dweller, people will start avoiding them. Look what the “image factor” did to minivans, Oldsmobile, and buicks. Look at poor communities where old beat-up German cars are popular because of the image.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hard to sell electric cars that aren’t a vanity appliance when gas is $2 a gallon or less, and will probably stay at that price point for years.

    I have commented in the B&B threads for years that autonomous vehicles were years, if not decades away (20 years) due to the complexity and costs involved to process all the data, we as humans can absorb and process. Our brain is feckin’ incredible.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      If saving money on gas is why people buy EVs, then hauling stuff is why people buy trucks. Neither are really true, but cheap gas is one of many factors against the appeal of hybrids and EVs.

      And yes, Level 4 AVs are nowhere close to deployment.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I can’t recall the last time I drove my truck without stuff in the bed or 6000 pounds of travel trailer behind it. It is a fine road trip vehicle though…the back seats are like a limo. But you do you.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          Cmon, Art, we both know most trucks are daily commuters. I’m pleasantly surprised when I see one actually hauling or towing.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Most trucks are commuters because they are versatile. Sure, you don’t need to haul every day, but they are good enough at everything else that it’s typically cheaper to just drive it and haul when you need it. I could ask similar questions with respect to any vehicle not using 100 percent of its capability and capacity all of the time. Why do you need 2 second acceleration on an EV? You Don’t. Trucks are just a popular item to bash on this site because it makes people feel smart for some reason. You arent.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      In the short term it seems to be about the halo of GM AV as Tesla’s self driving cars are offing their owners. Whether it gets there or if a company can withstand the liability is another.

      If you have adaptive cruise on your late model Level 1 Volt, for about a $1K you can make it Level ll via comma.ai. So the ingredients are there someone has to take on the liability and mix it all up and bake it.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Our entire infrastructure is built around gasoline powered vehicles so until that changes EVs will fight an uphill battle.

    Its mostly a range anxiety perception problem. The average commuter would be well served with an EV due to plenty of short to medium length trips with long periods of idle time (IE: parked at home or at the office). Based on what I see in daily traffic most would also be better off driving a 2 door coupe but instead have a 3 row SUV so what works logically and what people actually purchase are two different things.

    For my wife’s next car she might consider a Tesla. Used ones are now in our price range.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    The “ICE” legacy automotive companies should have gone the Tesla route with EV’s. Instead of starting at the econobox end of the spectrum where buyers are notoriously frugal, they should have offered more luxurious models first.

    I don’t buy the whole cost of rewiring your house debate. If your house is that old and cannot handle any modern electrical additions, it should be rewired just from a safety standpoint.

  • avatar
    jalop1991

    If we wanted it, we would have it.

    In 9 years we went from a Mercury Redstone 15 minute pop shot all the way to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

    If we wanted it, we would have it.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      You have, probably without even realizing it, hit the nail on the head.

      “If we wanted it, we would have it.” – The point is we (car buyers) don’t want it. Except for a relatively small handful of gadget freaks and delusional individuals who think they are “saving the planet”, car buyers are not crying out for and demanding electric cars. The demand is not there.

      There is absolutely no good reason for pushing electrification. If and when electric cars are actually better and more cost-effective then the market will gravitate to them. We are not there yet and most likely will not be for many years – and may never be for people who don’t have a place to charge up at home, or those buying used cars who don’t want to deal with the specter of an old, deteriorating, and expensive battery pack.

      I can guarantee you that I will never buy an electric car. There is simply no good reason for them.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        And there are plenty of good reasons to buy an EV. The only one that apeals to me however is the ability to rapidly cover 1/4 of a mile and that isn’t at the top of my list. I wish they’d make good looking ones though. I’d happily pay a mileage penalty for an EV not styled like a box of crayons left in a hot car.

      • 0 avatar
        shipping96

        2manycars,

        You can deny it but human caused climate change is real. Electric cars can contribute to decarbonization. Automobiles and trucks aren’t the only factors in play contributing but to many they are more visible.

        I have driven the Model 3 and Model S. I really like the instant torque and low center if gravity. You hate them because like many you hate change and then build up reasons around it.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      It would likely take a financial investment akin to that as well. Voters wanted to go to the moon. They are ambivilent about even the modest subsidies that we have had for EV’s so it seems unlikely. Welcome to our representative republic.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Speaking of timelines and projections:
    . 5 years ago, I was 1 year away from fixing the HVAC on my truck.
    . The dash came out this week.
    . Based on the experience so far, I can project with confidence that the truck will be reassembled in the next 10-20 years.

    (So I can relate, GM.)

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Based on my experiences the last time I pulled a dash, I am honestly not sure that electrification of GM’s entire fleet would not be an easier task. What miserable work.

  • avatar

    Mary Barra has been all over the map with electric cars. Like most American CEOs she thinks in the short term, and is not the strategic long-term thinker GM needs. GM currently has one electric car the Bolt, which finds only 15,000 customers a year.

  • avatar
    B-BodyBuick84

    Electric cars are no more a fashion accessory than a gas powered car is. The difference is what suits your lifestyle. IF you live in a metro-urban area with lots of stop and go daily driving that doesn’t take you too far from your home, then electric will do you fine. If you tow, do a lot of driving, or simply have nowhere to plug in, then it won’t simple as that.

    For example, A friend of mine lives downtown area where I live. He and his wife are both teachers- he cycles to work, she drives their Nissan Leaf. In the city, that one electric vehicle does them perfectly fine whether it be commuting, shopping, etc, and they’re both very happy with it. However, every summer break they go visit her parents on their farm in Saskatchewan- Quite the distance from their home in B.C. For that, they use their other vehicle, a 1982 (maybe 81?) Mercury Grand Marquis with a 5.8/AOD overdrive combo. It was an inherited vehicle with low KM’s, and again, it suits their needs perfectly fine (why buy a new car when this one does the job?). Both of these vehicles would downright suck at doing the other’s job, but in an emergency it could be done. If they move to an apartment/ condo with only one parking space, do you think they’d get rid of the Leaf? or the Mercury? With the infrastructure currently in place, it’s really a toss-up, though I believe the Mercury would edge out a victory here, as driving it to work would be less trouble than driving the Leaf to Saskatchewan. More realistically, they’d probably sell both and get one vehicle, probably a larger hybrid sedan, to fill the void. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would do and get them by.

    Having two vehicles is not an option for everybody. At this point in time, ICE and Hybrid vehicles are still the best middle ground for all a person’s probable needs. I’ll say I’m not surprised GM is pulling back on pure electrification- the market is there, but it’s still a bit of a niche- you need a certain lifestyle, or have a set of certain needs, in order to own an EV.

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